Cities: Skylines Parklife Review — Having a Day Out

If you’re anything like me, you’re a big fan of a certain TV show about building governmental parks and are therefore very excited for Parklife, the new Cities: Skylines expansion pack. Specifically due to its core feature revolving around the ability to create custom parks.

Cities: Skylines Parklife THE PARK
Welcome to THE PARK.

If you’re a fan of Cities: Skylines and improving the recreational side of your city, you’re sure to love the Green Cities DLC.

First off, as with every expansion, Paradox have added a few neat changes to the existing mechanics. Things such as trees dissipating noise, small changes to the asset editor and — my favorite change ever — a sorting system built into the toolbar. The latter is available whenever you open up a build bar. Several buttons are layered on top of the existing asset area, giving you the option of searching by various sizes of buildings, roads and the new Parklife assets.

Those of you paying close attention may be able to work out what Parklife is about — and if you guessed that it was ‘the bureaucratic monotony of organising public transport timetables’, you’re wrong! That’s in the base game. Parklife is about building a variety of parks. Previously there was some level of building public parks, plonking down trees, paths and benches… but Parklife takes this to the next level with completely modular and customisable city parks, zoos, amusement parks and national parks.

Cities: Skylines Parklife A Monster
Oh no! It’s a monster!

The new park building method is easy to grasp. Starting from a main entrance, you can lay down paths; clip on entertainment and building modules; and plonk down smaller assets like trees and benches. In addition to the new parks, there are also park districts, which let you micromanage parks — setting rules and managing finances.

When you start off a new game, you don’t have many options with the parks. Youcan create a small area to get away from the city or have a day out, but you can soon level up your parks with a wide variety of amusements and buildings.

The level of customisation is reminiscent of the amusement-park-based tycoon games, and it works wonderfully. It’s great to be able to create things the city population actually want to go to — things besides the boring monuments and such.

The building elements are more or less exactly like old public parks building, but taken up a few notches. Where, in the past, you could put down some dirt paths, a few benches and a pile of trees, you can now bung in info booths, reindeer enclosures, teacup rides and more. I am very much looking forward to a roller-coaster-building DLC someday!

Cities: Skylines Parklife Reindeer

Because living in a city bestows upon you a preternatural ability to be bored by even the coolest attraction there, tourists are now a proper thing. They all look very touristy, and are included with a suite of tourist specializations and edicts which let you make your city into a tourist utopia… or a 0/5 on Yelp, depending on what sort of city you want to have.

Oh yeah, and there are new animals and stuff. Most importantly, there are whales now! (I don’t understand the asset editor, so I sadly couldn’t get a good look at these whales.)

As always, there’s a butt ton of assets, pretty buildings and landscaping, like a really cool clock tower. While it’s not a big expansion pack, it is great that there is a constant stream of new features and content coming to help expand the game. Better yet, these features are all enabled for the fantastic, easy-to-use modding system.

For those of you who want more in the ‘making things in a highly realistic simulator’ or those who like constructing a variety of parks to suit whatever mood and theme you’re in — and the base parks aren’t enough for you — this DLC is for you.

Cities: Skylines’ Parklife expansion is available now on PC, Mac and Linux via Steam and the Paradox store.

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